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REMANDED- PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL - GARCIA V WORLD SAVINGS-- CALIFORNIA APPEAL COURT

REMANDED- PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL - GARCIA V WORLD SAVINGS-- CALIFORNIA APPEAL COURT

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Garcia v. World Savings, FSB, 183 Cal. App. 4th 1031 (2010) – Verbal Assurance that Foreclosure Sale Will be Postponed May be Enforceable
Garcia v. World Savings, FSB, 183 Cal. App. 4th 1031 (2010) – Verbal Assurance that Foreclosure Sale Will be Postponed May be Enforceable

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Published by: 83jjmack on May 24, 2011
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183 Cal.App.4th 1031 (2010)
 
FRANCISCO GARCIA et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants,v.WORLD SAVINGS, FSB, Defendant and Respondent.
No. B214822.
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Four.
 April 9, 2010.1034*1034 Creed & Elliott, Joseph W. Creed and Lisa R. Elliott for Plaintiffs andAppellants.Anglin, Flewelling, Rasmussen, Campbell &Trytten, Robin C. Campbell, Mark T.Flewelling and Robert A. Bailey for Defendant and Respondent.
OPINION
MANELLA, J.Appellants Francisco and Maria Elena
Garcia
brought suit against their lender,respondent
World Savings
, FSB,
[1]
for wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, promissory estoppel, and unfair business practices.
[2]
The trial courtgranted respondent's motion for summary judgment, concluding that theforeclosure was valid, that the breach of contract claim was unsupported byconsideration, that the promise allegedly made was insufficiently specific tosupport promissory estoppel and that the unfair business practices claim hadno basis. We reverse with respect to the claim for promissory estoppel, butotherwise affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUNDA.
Undisputed Facts
 
Most of the essential facts were not disputed for purposes of summary judgment. In September 2004, appellants purchased a residential property inArtesia using funds obtained from respondent.
[3]
The property was subject to a1035*1035 deed of trust. Between October 2006 and August 2007, appellantsfailed to make payments on the loan.
[4]
In January 2007, respondent sentappellants a notice of default. In May 2007, respondent sent appellants anotice of trustee's sale to take place June 21, 2007, later continued byrespondent to July 20, 2007.In July 2007, respondent postponed the trustee's sale to August 20, 2007.
[5]
 That same month, appellants retained Cal Ravana, a mortgage broker, toobtain funds to cure the default by re-financing other property owned byappellants. In mid-August, Ravana spoke with Mike Lara, one of the managersof respondent's foreclosure department, and informed him that appellantshad obtained a written conditional loan approval. Ravana faxed the approvalto Lara and asked for another postponement. Lara agreed to postpone thesale to August 29.
[6]
Respondent provided Ravana a reinstatement quote of $26,596.37, the amount which if paid by August 29, would cure the default onthe loan.On August 27, Ravana called Lara to ask for an extension of time until the firstweek of September. According to Ravana, Lara stated that he would postponethe sale until August 30 and "see where [they] were at after that." WhenRavana asked what would happen if appellants' new loan did not close by the30th, Lara responded that the property "won't go to sale because I have thefinal say-so and as long as I know that you could close it the first week of 
 
August [
sic
], I'll extend it."
[7]
 1036*1036 On August 29, Ravana called Lara's office several times and leftmessages on his direct line, letting him know that the loan would not close foranother week. Lara did not return any of the calls or respond to any of themessages.The trustee on the deed of trust sold the property at a foreclosure sale onAugust 30, 2007. Unaware of the foreclosure sale, appellants went forwardwith the refinancing of their other property. The loan closed on September 7,2007, a Friday. The company handling the closing sent respondent a check for$26,596.37, which respondent received the following Monday, September 10.Respondent returned the check uncashed.Upon receiving the check, Ravana called Lara and learned for the first timethat the foreclosure sale had gone forward on August 30. According toRavana, Lara said there had been a "mistake." In a subsequent conversationwith Mrs.
Garcia
, Lara reiterated that a mistake had been made and said thatappellants' property was not supposed to have been sold. Lara also told Mrs.
Garcia
that the matter would be "cleared up" in a few days. Laraacknowledged at his deposition that he spent almost a month incommunication with Ravana, Mrs.
Garcia
and the purchaser "try[ing] toresolve [the] issue."
[8]
 
B.
Com
 plaint 
 
In the first cause of action of their complaint, appellants alleged that theforeclosure sale of the property was "wrongful" in violation of Civil Codesection 2924 et seq. and that it was "an illegal, fraudulent, and willinglyoppressive sale of property under a power of sale contained in a deed of trust." In the third cause of action for breach of contract, appellants allegedthat they and respondent "on valuable consideration" entered into an oralagreement whereby respondent agreed to postpone the foreclosure sale of the property. In their sixth cause of action for promissory estoppel, appellantsalleged that respondent orally promised to postpone the foreclosure sale andin reliance on that promise, appellants refinanced other property they ownedin order to obtain the funds necessary to cure the default and reinstate theloan.
1037*1037 C.
R
esp
o
ndent's M
o
ti 
o
n f 
or 
Su
mm
a
ry 
Judg
m
ent 
 
Respondent moved for summary judgment, contending that (1) there was noagreement to postpone the foreclosure sale past August 30, 2007; (2)appellants gave no consideration for any alleged agreement; (3) the statute of frauds barred the claim; (4) the promise on which appellants allegedly reliedwas not clear and unambiguous; (5) appellants could not establish reasonablereliance or detriment; (6) appellants did not tender the funds necessary toreinstate the loan; and (7) appellants' unclean hands barred declaratory relief.
D.
ial 
Co
u
t's O
de
 
The trial court found that the foreclosure sale was procedurally valid and thatthe failure of appellants to tender an amount sufficient to cure the defaultbarred their cause of action for wrongful foreclosure. With respect to thecause of action for breach of contract, the court found that appellants' effortsto obtain a loan in order to pay what was due under the deed of trust was notsufficient consideration because it "add[ed] nothing new to the original
 
bargain between the parties." Distinguishing the case of 
Raedeke v. G
ibr 
alta
 Sav. & Loan A
ss
n.
(1974) 10 Cal.3d 665 [111 Cal.Rptr. 693, 517 P.2d 1157](
Raedeke
), in which the Supreme Court held that the defaulting borrowers'procurement of a prospective buyer for the property constituted goodconsideration, the court stated: "[U]nlike the [borrowers'] procurement [of abuyer] in
Raedeke ,
[appellants] and [respondent's] original bargain merelycontemplated [appellants'] continued payments under the loan, regardless of the source of the funds. Moreover, [appellants] ... offered no evidence of benefit to [respondent] under the alleged agreement."With respect to the cause of action for promissory estoppel, the court stated:"To prevail on this claim, [a] plaintiff must prove (1) a promise clear andunambiguous in its terms; (2) reliance by the party to whom the promise ismade[;] (3) his reliance must be both reasonable and foreseeable[;] and (4)the party asserting the estoppel must be injured by his reliance. [Citation.] [¶][Appellants have] offered evidence to show that, at best, a conditionalpromise was made by Mr. Lara regarding the alleged oral agreement topostpone. [Appellants] have failed to meet their burden of showing a promiseby Lara `clear and unambiguous in its terms.'" With respect to the claim forunfair business practices, the court stated: "Given that [appellants'] WrongfulForeclosure Cause of Action fails as a matter of law, [appellants] are unable toprove any unfair, unlawful or fraudulent conduct by [respondent] to support acause of action under Business and Profession Code § 17200."1038*1038 The court granted respondent's motion for summary judgment.Judgment was entered and this appeal followed.
DISCUSSIONA.
Standa
o
 f 
R
eview 
 
"Summary judgment is proper when there is no triable issue of material factand the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." (
Bu
s
tamantev. Int 
u
t, In
c
.
(2006) 141 Cal.App.4th 199, 208 [45 Cal.Rptr.3d 692].) "Inreviewing an order granting summary judgment, we exercise our independent judgment, applying the same analysis as the trial court to determine `whetherthe moving party established undisputed facts that negate the opposingparty's claim or state a complete defense.'" (
I
bi 
d.,
quoting
Romano v. Ro
c
kwell Inte
nat., In
c
.
(1996) 14 Cal.4th 479, 487 [59 Cal.Rptr.2d 20, 926 P.2d 1114].)"In independently reviewing a motion for summary judgment, we apply thesame three-step analysis used by the superior court. We identify the issuesframed by the pleadings, determine whether the moving party has negatedthe opponent's claims, and determine whether the opposition hasdemonstrated the existence of a triable, material factual issue. [Citation.]Because of the drastic nature of the summary judgment procedure and theimportance of safeguarding the adverse party's right to a trial, the movingparty must make a strong showing. His affidavits are strictly construed and theopposing party's are liberally construed." (
S
lva v. L
u
c
ky Sto
e
s
 , In
c
.
(1998) 65Cal.App.4th 256, 261 [76 Cal.Rptr.2d 382].)
B.
Co
nside
ati 
o
n/ 
R
eliance
 
Before we discuss whether Lara's statements to Ravana in their August 27conversation were sufficiently specific to support either a breach of contractor promissory estoppel, we first discuss whether appellants supplied evidence

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